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The Monday Shakeout: Spring 2024 Speed Trail Shoe Round Up
By  Matthew Klein

In this week's Monday Shakeout, Matt covers a variety of new trail shoes hitting the market this spring which focus on speed. These new offerings from inov and Salomon offer some unique characteristics that make each a standout on their own right. Those who like nimble trail shoes with lower stacks will want to check these out!

Inov8 Mudtalon Speed

Weight: 9.2 oz / 260 g (Men's size 9 / Women's size 10.5
Stack Height: 26 mm / 22 mm
Drop: 4 mm
Classification: Muddy Terrain Minimal Trail Racing Shoe

The Inov8 Mudtalon speed is a minimal to moderate stack height, flexible trail racing shoe with lugs meant to grip mud and technical terrain. A new, lightweight, anatomic upper sits up top providing plenty of room in the toe box. The fit is close in the midfoot and heel, providing a secure lockdown despite a thin tongue. The midsole features a POWERFLO midsole combined with a BOOMERANG insole that provides a surprising amount of cushioning and bounce for a close-to-the-ground ride. The ground feel is quite good thanks to the more minimal (relative to today's standards) stack height and highly flexible ride. Combined with the extremely deep lugs, the ride provides excellent grip and adaptability to a wide variety of muddy and technical terrains.

Southern California had a wet winter and I had plenty of opportunity to test this shoe on wet, muddy and steep terrain. This shoe provides tons of grip across uneven terrains and found it to be an excellent short distance faster trail shoe. Those wanting an anatomic toe box, a lower-to-the-ground, nimble and grippy ride will do best in this shoe. It certainly can move quickly as faster efforts were a breeze. However, the more minimal and flexible sole limit this shoe to shorter distances unless you are used to and well adapted to minimal footwear.

Pros: Excellent promised grip
Cons: High flexibility limits distance for many runners

Salomon Genesis

Weight: 9.7 oz / 275 g (Men's size 9), 8.8 oz / 249 g (Women's size 8)
Stack Height: 33 mm / 25 mm
Drop: 8 mm
Classification: Mild Stability Trail Racing Shoe

The Salomon Genesis is a rare mild stability trail racing shoe from the experienced trail company. True to form, it features a narrow fit with a tapered toe box. The Matryx upper provides a secure and foot-hugging fit that does not require much lockdown from the Quicklaces. The stability comes from the large added sidewalls that sit on the lateral heel and medial midfoot. The medial midfoot sidewall is noticeable and provides a mild to moderate amount of pressure and medial resistance into the arch. Unlike the other two shoes in this review, there is quite a bit of midsole underfoot. The Energy Foam material is mildly firm but provides a snappy ride, especially as the pace increases. The outsole provides excellent grip on moderate terrain and some technical areas. The lugs are fairly average in depth but are plentiful enough to grip on both steady, mildly muddy and wet terrain. The weight, snappiness and amount of midsole underfoot make this a shoe that can handle a variety of distances from short to longer trail training and races.

The Salomon Genesis has been a favorite of mine due to the clear midfoot stability. As a rare trail stability shoe, it has been a ride I can rely on, especially on longer runs. I prefer lighter and faster shoes in general and this has been a fun tool to do some faster work on trails. The only challenge for me has been the narrow upper and the forefoot crease. Although I can handle this shoe for shorter moderate distances, the narrow fit can get to me as my feet start to swell. Additionally, the upper creases right over my toes and has caused quite a bit of rubbing with longer distances. Adjusting the laces and building some callouses has helped this somewhat. While this is a shoe that will work for a variety of trail race distances, including longer efforts and a variety of speeds, it will work best for those with narrow feet or those wanting a snug fit.

: Great midfoot stability for a trail shoe
Cons: Narrow fit throughout

Inov8 Trailfly Speed

Weight: 9.7 oz / 270 g (Men's size 9 / Women's size 10.5) 
Stack Height: 22 mm / 18 mm
Drop: 4 mm
Classification: Minimal Trail Racing Shoe

The Inov8 Trailfy series is an all new duo from Inov8, with the racing/lighter version, the Speed, featuring a wider, more anatomic toe box, a lower drop and a new POWERFLO midsole/BOOMERANG insole combination. The fit is now anatomic in the forefoot with a wider fit throughout the length of the shoe. This provided plenty of room and made all day wear and running extremely comfortable. Those with wider feet can rejoice in a trail shoe that runs light and will have plenty of room throughout the shoe for your feet. The BOOMERANG insole is expanded TPU that provides a cushioned underfoot ride despite the lower stack height. The midsole is quite flexible, adapting to a variety of terrain. There is a META-SHANK rock plate that does not get in the way of the flexibility but still provides moderate protection from stones underfoot. The outsole features Inov8's classic Graphene material which is incredibly durable. Even with some road use, I have not been able to make a dent in the outsole. The grip is good for mild to moderate terrain with flexibility to handle technical areas where you need to be quick on your feet.

The Inov8 Trailfly Speed has been a great shorter distance, foot strength-building tool for me on trails, road and in the gym. The wider fit has been comfortable, but a slight challenge to get a secure fit in the midfoot unless I really tighten the laces (I have a normal-width foot). The forefoot is fantastic with a wider but lower volume fit that gives me room for my toes without being sloppy. The minimal midsole stack height was a good option for really short runs but I did not find there to be enough material for moderate to longer runs. Thus, those who want a minimal shoe with a rock plate for protection and an anatomic fit may enjoy this racing shoe over shorter distances or potentially longer if you have adapted to minimal footwear.

Pros: Great wide forefoot. One of the best minimal trail shoes without being fully zero drop for those who prefer this
Cons: Fairly minimal ride and lack of protectiveness may be a limiting factor

Brooks Catamount 3

Weight: 9.4 oz, 266 g (men's size 9), 8.4 oz, 238 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 30 mm / 24 mm
Drop: 6 mm
Classification: Trail Uptempo/Racing Shoe

The Brooks Catamount 3 is a uptempo/racing shoe with a traditional nimble feel. A new upper sits up top that provides a secure, lower volume fit with just enough wiggle room in the toes. The DNA Flash midsole provides a firmer ride while a Sky Vault plate provides a snappy toe off and doubles as a rock plate. While Version 3 looks similar to Version 2, the improved security of the upper makes for an even more nimble ride for those who want a shoe that can move at quicker speeds on softer surfaces. Find a full review of the Catamount 3 here.

 Pros: Nimble, Snappy Ride, Durable
: Firmer Ride, No Super Foam Despite being a Racing Shoe


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Ultraspire Fitted Race Belt: The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist. (Also recommend the Naked belt)
Saysky Running Gear: We were really taken aback by this Scandinavian company's ultra-thin, durable performance clothing
Skratch Recovery, Coffee Flavor: Mental and physical boost post run. Coffee flavor is excellent and goes great straight into a fresh brewed cup
goodr Sunglases: Run in style with goodr's super fun sunglasses.
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Water Bottle: Perfect for long runs when you need hydration in the summer
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Theragun Massager: This small version is great on the go for working tired legs
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!
Fractel Hats: Our team's wider fitting running hat of choice!


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Why Legs Feel Different After Using Super Shoes

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